Library filed under Impact on Wildlife from Germany
"The effects of an industrial wind power plant on this valuable biotope are immense," says Prof. Dr. Fritz Vahrenholt, sole director of the German Wildlife Foundation. "The negative impact on birds are substantial and proven in similar habitats."
How dangerous is wind power for animals and humans? This question is the construction of wind turbines in Denmark almost stopped as the "Welt am Sonntag" reported. Also in Germany there is growing skepticism about wind power projects.
German developers plan to install 60 wind turbines, each 700-foot tall, in one of Central Europe’s last remaining untouched regions, the Palantinate Forest, a UN designated natural monument.
"There are indications from research that fish larvae can be damaged by intense sounds,” said Fabian Ritter, leader of the marine protection campaign at Whale and Dolphin Conservation in Berlin. "Seals are very sensitive to sounds and can be easily disturbed," he told DW. "There's disturbance and the risk of collision for birds, and bats, and other animals."
Porpoises are adding millions of euros to costs for wind-turbine developers in waters off Germany, delaying the nation's shift from nuclear energy. About 231,000 porpoises, which are smaller and stouter than dolphins, live in the North Sea and Baltic Sea.
Previous studies have already highlighted that more than 200,000 bats are killed each year by German wind turbines. Researchers are convinced that such high mortality rates may not be sustainable ...Voigt calls for stronger legislative agreements. The large-scale development of wind farms throughout Germany may have negative consequences for even remote ecosystems in northeastern Europe.
"From the standpoint of environmental protection, it's necessary to decrease noise pollution in marine ecosystems," BfN acknowledges in the introduction of its recent report. The study looks to the guidelines set forth by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA), which suggest that noise outside of a 750 meter radius from the construction site should not exceed 160 decibels.
Earlier today German Radio reported that an unusually large number of dead whales have washed up on the North German Baltic beaches over the last 2 weeks. Now some believe that a newly installed Baltic 1 offshore windpark consisting of 21 2.3-MW turbines may be responsible, according to reports.
They might produce renewable energy, but offshore wind farms are a scourge for porpoises. Researchers have found that construction noise at a turbine site off the German coast has scared away the marine mammals, who depend on their acute hearing. A "bubble curtain" could protect the sensitive cetaceans from future stress.
Sound pollution from offshore wind turbines poses a threat to Baltic Sea porpoises, a German marine mammal specialist said on Monday.
Massive wind turbines seem to be killing more and more migratory bats, prompting research into these neglected creatures and efforts to minimize the toll. ...The deaths have led to a flurry of research on migratory bats and their behavior. "The problem with bats and wind energy has pushed a lot of work that wouldn't have occurred otherwise," says Edward Arnett of the Austin, Texas-based nonprofit Bat Conservation International. Indeed, at a January conference in Berlin on migratory bats, wind farms were a dominant theme. Scientists are racing to figure out what brings the bats in contact with wind turbines, and what can be done to save them.
German animal campaigners are alarmed by the number of dead bats being found near wind turbines and have called for restrictions on generators in areas with high populations of the nocturnal mammal. "The bats are not only being clobbered to death by the turbines, but can also suffer from collapsed lungs due to the drastic change in air pressure," said Hermann Hoetker of the Michael Otto Institute for wildlife and the environment.
It may be the time to consider how wind farms fit in with the values which the Wilderness Society represents. If the Society is prepared to go through such a prolonged and worthy fight to save the forests, with all the financial and emotional costs involved, it would be consistent to regard wind farm development with the same scepticism with which it regards the wood chip industry. Both are potent adversaries to the values which I hope we share.